In a world that often relies on drinking coffee or energy drinks as its go-to pick-me-up, exploring a gentler, more natural approach to cure feeling tired can leave you with natural energy drivers that will leave you feeling invigorated without the jitters or crash of the next cup of caff.
There’s a treasure trove of energizers, all within an arm’s reach, just as close as your next bag of coffee, and with benefits that will have you feeling the vibrant and alive version of yourself you might be trying to chase with caffeine intake.
Here are 7 natural paths to natural vitality and gaining energy without caffeine!
What does energy really mean to you?
What is it about having a buzz in our bodies that make us continue craving the onset of an outside force of energy?
We get a lot of satisfaction from a good buzz— frequently, people like the buzz of alcohol, the focused attention with caffeine consumption— but at what cost? Using nature is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to achieve a beautiful life aligned with Mother Earth. But even in nature, there are foods that benefit us and are poisonous.
And while most wouldn’t say caffeine is poison, it is indeed a psychoactive drug that causes a dependency that has us begging to drink more, craving for more, and getting less and less aligned with our innate capacity to energize ourselves.
Why it’s important to get energy without caffeine
While many strive for that quick energy boost, caffeine isn’t always the best solution! Anxiety, jitters, and insomnia are just some of the effects of the most commonly used drug in the world.
Caffeine dependence, or caffeine use disorder, is slowly starting to become more widely understood. Caffeine attaches to what’s called adenosine receptors in our bodies, which, when activated, prevents adenosine, giving you those higher energy levels, awakeness, and alertness that you force upon yourself when you want to “get things done.”
Diagnostic tools DSM-5, a manual of mental disorders, and ICD-10, an online diagnosis database, both “recognize caffeine intoxication, caffeine withdrawal, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, and caffeine-induced insomnia as potential diagnoses when symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment.”
And while we can’t rely too much on mainstream medical information to make our decisions ?, it’s no secret that caffeine’s withdrawal symptoms are eerily similar to “worse” drugs like nicotine and cocaine.
Part of what we believe to be an integral part of body awareness is stimulating ongoing detox, cleansing, and free flow throughout our bodies so we can better use them for our creative, earthly experience. ?
The 7 best ways to get energy (without caffeine!)
Something many of us forget is the magic that a little bit of holistic integration can bring to our bodies! While caffeine from a cup of coffee, energy drinks, or manmade concoctions might give us that almost immediate, wired feeling that allows us to speed through work, our bodies are wildly intuitive and capable of providing us with sustained energy when we “feed” it with an enriching energy protocol. ?
1. Dry brushing (garshana). ✨
Stimulating the largest organ of the body to do what it’s meant to do certainly brings a sense of flow to your entire body.
The Ayurvedic practice of Garshana, or dry brushing, stimulates the skin by opening the pores and allowing for lymphatic drainage so your body can fully cleanse out the toxins that could be blocking and bloating your lymph. (Remember, unlike other parts of your body, your lymphatic system doesn’t detox on its own. It needs outer stimulation to drain, which is often tricky when we’re sitting around and not moving.)
The key to this is always brushing toward your heart, with the theory that following the flowing direction of the lymph better support it. As you do this, you’re supporting the movement and flow of toxins alleviating the body, while getting dead skin cells off the skin, while also energizing your body overall.
A voice and speech teacher of mine, Nancy Mayans, had us “dry brush” our bodies with our hands in class to warm up our bodies— and the energy that our entire beings had after we did that brief vigorous motion, even without a dry brush, showed everything I needed to know to understand how important stimulating the skin and lymph is to energize your body.
2. Earthing. ?
When was the last time you released your bare feet into the ground, soaked in the soil, and breathed in the wind with no other agenda than to just be?
I’d heard of Earthing for a while, but it wasn’t until a friend of ours just took his shoes off and started strolling around while conversing with us that I really considered exploring it.
It’s probably the simplest thing of all— in fact, the most natural thing that our ancestors wouldn’t have thought twice about. Simply find a safe, soft section of grass in your yard, and spend 5-10 minutes walking around. This opens wide your root chakra, helping you release all the energy you need each morning to restore and invigorate yourself for the day.
It also connects your body directly to the earth’s electrical charge, and according to NIH, “some 20 studies to date have reported intriguing evidence of wide and significant physiological improvements when the body is grounded vs. non-grounded. The research, along with numerous anecdotal reports, demonstrates that Earthing clearly deserves inclusion in the clinical practice of preventive, alternative, and lifestyle medicine and has great potential to render these approaches more effective.”
3. Gua sha. ?♀️
Consider this a less intense version of dry brushing, focusing specifically on your face.
Just as we move around the lymph in the rest of the body, relieving the muscular tension and releasing facial lymph nodes boost blood circulation and encourage drainage so your most lively self can replace it. ?
Find a gua sha kit made with a stone, a roller, or both, to massage the skin. While we frequently see people focus their gua sha-ing on their faces, you’re welcome to use this on the neck and even on spots in the body.
4. Foot massaging. ?
You might not think about your feet that often. But they’re the only body part that shoulders all of your weight— literally! Reflexology shows us the benefits of expelling tension and friction meridians from the foot, from potential benefits for depression, anxiety, and sleep troubles, it also unlocks specific meridians in the body, similar to acupuncture.
While receiving energy from the earth is its own kind of natural remedy, releasing the tensions in our feet overall helps reflect the overall health of our bodies. As said by Yoga International while, “Ours is not a culture conditioned to honor or appreciate our feet—a pair of misfit trolls that bears the burden of our weight and carries us from place to place,” they are still vital to our wellness.
In fact, “in the Veda, the feet are the organs of action, the body’s foundation. “Just imagine: if the foundation of a house is weak, stressed, or unhealthy, the entire structure begins to buckle. In the same way, problems in our feet can creep into other parts of the body and weaken our overall health and sense of well-being.”
So… should you be getting a foot massage every month? Week? Day? We love getting monthly reflexology, and in between sessions, have invested in a massage gun, which we use every evening before we sleep. There’s a huge difference in energy after using it on both feet for even just 5 minutes on level 10— but we know that biologically, it has sound, energizing benefits as well. ?
5. Drinking shilajit water. ?
This phytocomplex and one of the only “foods” on this list has been newly introduced into the diet of our household, which holds “potential pro-cognitive activity.” Shilajit is found mainly in the Himalayan mountains and is a result of centuries of rock and plants decomposing into a rich, potent resin that most use to add in water.
With a gooey makeup and an earthy, woody taste, its main active ingredient is fulvic acid, a natural memory enhancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory, leading directly as an element used for anti-aging and anti-Alzheimers.
Caffeine gives you the short fix of energy but encourages dehydration— shilajit gives you the long-term memory enhancement needed for true cognitive capabilities. Pair this with nourishing drinking water like from a medical-grade alkaline water machine or distilled water, and you’re well on your way to more natural energy throughout the day.
Related: the 7 best portable saunas
6. Dancing to root chakra music. ?
This will be the third time we’ve mentioned the root chakra or the feet, so if you haven’t taken the hint yet that so much of your energy can come from your feet, now’s about the time!
Dancing, in general, can greatly alter your mood, stimulate blood flow, and activate the lymphatic system so your entire system starts running smoothly. But there’s a clear energetic difference between dancing to Clair De Lune than there is dancing to tribal, grounding music.
We know it sounds cliche, but it’s really about dancing like nobody’s watching, because once you give your body permission to move any way it wants to, it’ll naturally give your mind and spirit the permission to go anywhere it needs to.
Here’s a selection of some of our favorite root chakra songs:
7. Sweating. ?
Out with the old and in with the new. ? While sweating helps with detoxification, it also stimulates and increases blood flow to the rest of your body, giving you more energy and releasing any toxins that might be taking energy away from you.
We believe that we should find a reason to sweat each and every day, whether it’s through exercise, sitting in the sun, going in a sauna, or taking a hot bath, as both a detoxification and an energetic method.
Wrapping up natural energizers
Finding natural ways to energize takes time. Just like most of us aren’t taught to read ingredient labels or explore ways to care for our bodies beyond exercising and eating well, there’s a whole world of naturopathic ways to increase energy levels that come with time and research that lots of us don’t know.
Since you’re here, you’re already well on your way to introducing more natural, non-addictive ways to energize your body, without the sugary snacks, afternoon slump, and quick-fix solutions that too much caffeine can bring.
Have any of these natural energizers worked for you? Are you working towards a caffeine-free life?
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